Skip to main content

What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality?

What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality by Kevin DeYoung

As the debate surrounding same-sex marriage heightens in the airwaves of our culture, there is no measure of this issue dying down anytime shortly.  We have heard both sides of the issues, from the evangelical Christian to the mainline Protestant.  Yet, we still do not have a book that deals succinctly with the biblical arguments and yet answers the specific questions people have about homosexuality.  In steps seasoned pastor Kevin DeYoung, no stranger to debates, with his new book, What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality?  Kevin doesn’t merely repeat old arguments but seeks to get into the context of the biblical passages and objections from those who support homosexuality. 

The book is divided into two major sections, the first dealing with understanding God’s Word and what it says about homosexuality (3 passages in the OT, 3 in the NT), and the second dealing with common objections (from wrong side of history, God of love, etc.).  What was really fascinating to me in reading the book was that Kevin did not just go to the scholars who think like him but also included lesbian and queer studies professors who understood quite clearly what the bible teaches about homosexuality.  In one instance, “The gay Dutch scholar Pim Pronk, after admitting that many Christians are eager to see homosexuality supported by the Bible, states plainly, “In this case that support is lacking.”2 Although he doesn’t think moral positions must be dependent on the Bible (which is why he can support homosexual behavior), as a scholar he recognizes that “wherever homosexual intercourse is mentioned in Scripture, it is condemned. . . . Rejection is a foregone conclusion; the assessment of it nowhere constitutes a problem. (55).”

In parsing Romans 1.26-27 Kevin also looks at what popular philosophers of the day thought about para physin or contrary to nature in terms of homosexuality’s relationship to nature.  Kevin writes, “For example, Musonius Rufus, a popular philosopher who lived around the same time as the Apostle Paul, observed, “But of all sexual relations those involving adultery are most unlawful, and no more tolerable are those of men with men, because it is a monstrous thing and contrary to nature (41).”  Kevin goes onto build his case by a return to the natural design or way that God first created all humanity. 

In Appendix 2 Kevin responds with a healthy dose of grace to those struggling with same sex attraction.  He writes, “I imagine a young man coming up to me as his pastor and saying, through tears, “I find myself attracted to men instead of women. I feel so dirty. I’m so ashamed. I feel bad, miserable, and mad at myself and like a failure before God every second of the day.” In this situation I would eventually get to the call of Christian discipleship to live in purity of thought and deed, but that’s not where I would start because this man already feels impure. I’d tell him that feeling this does not make him a failure, and that the desire to walk in holiness is evidence of the Spirit’s work in his life. I’d tell him about the good news of the gospel (106).”  This winsome and grace-filled response is truly beautiful and something everyone needs to hear.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and its balance of biblical faithfulness and practical guidance in all the issues surrounding homosexuality.

Thanks to Crossway for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review


Popular posts from this blog

the great spiritual migration

The Great Spiritual Migration by Brian D McLaren

Brian McLaren and his own pithy way brings to the foreground and emphasis on a new kind of Christianity. The kind of faith that Brian envisions is a kind of migration not been set in the bedrock of beliefs that is unmoving but rather shifting with both culture and with faith. His new book the great spiritual migration is exactly that, a pointed work that encapsulates a vision towards the future where Christianity is changing and its peoples lives are changed as well.

Brian states in the introduction, "but we also know that for a lot of people Christianity is malfunctioning, seriously so, and it's not pretty. This kind of frustration with conventional Christianity is what McLaren gets gets to at the heart of this message is concerned with a number of different clusters unbelief. One, namely that Christianity has been stuck in a set of propositions or beliefs that has controlled churches in the faith, rather then a spirit of love t…

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder
Misperceptions, misconnections, and missed observations are just some of the issues that Timothy Snyder raises in his book, Black Earth, concerning the Holocaust.  Snyder, no stranger to the frontlines of scholarship on the Holocaust, with his previous book Bloodlands, that concerns the land from Hitler to Stalin, takes a look at the Holocaust from new sources and new avenues of thought.  How did some nation-states survive relatively unscathed from Nazi persecution while others, notably Jewish populations, succumb to a wave of killings?  Also, what was the role of the Soviet Union in the war and how did Stalin effect changes in the Final Solution?  These questions are only two of the many that Snyder answers in his detailed account of the Holocaust.
One of the best chapters was entitled The Auschwitz Paradox.  Generally when the public thinks about the Holocaust, we think of Auschwitz first or at the top of our mental m…

The Paraclete Poetry Anthology, Edited by Mark S. Burrows

Bringing words to life on a page is hard work, and no work is harder than poetry.  Poets take the visceral, the mundane, and the disjointed and frayed things of life and put them on their head.  This new anthology of poetry put out by Paraclete Press and edited by Mark S. Burrows, takes the best poetry of today and brings together old and new poems from these gifted creators.  You find poems from Scott Cairs, SAID, Phyllis Tickle, and others.  The collection stems the span of 2005-2016 and includes both religious poems and themes, as well as themes covering a broad swath of topics.

One of the beauties of this collection is the array of poems that the anthology includes in its pages.  One poem in particular stuck with me as read through the collection.  Anna Kamienska is a wonderful Polish poet who interacts with the wider lens of faith while looking carefully at the world we live in.  She says in her poem named Gratitude, (44)

A tempest threw a rainbow in my face
so that I wanted to…